Slipknot’s Jim Root talks overcoming anxiety issues

Jim Root
Jim Root (Image credit: Getty)

Slipknot’s Jim Root has spoken out about staying mentally positive while out on tour.

While he admits some might believe he’s fortunate because of his place in a successful band, Root says the same problems affect people in all walks of life.

Speaking to the You Rock Foundation, a music charity which seeks to raise awareness about mental health issues, he adds: “I’m extremely lucky to be doing what I’m doing and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world, but there are issues that people have to deal with – whether you’re someone like me, or someone that’s in school, or you have a job where you don’t get on with everybody that you work with, the circles of people you run with – it’s all relative.

“I work very hard at maintaining this career and living his dream, but there’s a price to pay. It’s not like we’re playing a show 24 hours a day, that’s the only part of the day that feels normal to me.

“You spend the rest of the day occupying your mind with things that don’t take you to the dark side – and that can be tough in itself. With what we do for a living, I think that’s why a lot of people turn to drugs and alcohol.

“I tried that as well – I think everyone goes through that phase – but what turns out to be a social thing turns out to be medicative. Whether they’re using it to shut off problems around them or what they have in their mind, at the end of day it’s not really solving anything.”

Root admits that he began to experience panic attacks while on tour because he spent so much time “in his own mind”, adding: “I was creating things in my mind that weren’t really happening.”

But now the guitarist spends more of his time songwriting and learning how to use music software to distract himself – and urges other people to take control of their own mental health by doing something positive.

He says: “Getting out your head is the most important thing you can do. If something pops in your head and you’re like, ‘Man, I wish I could do that,’ get out there and do it.

“If you’re not happy with where your life is going, you need to take steps to take yourself out and make yourself happy. It’s up to you to be in control of your life. No one else will do it for you.”

Slipknot are currently touring the US with Marilyn Manson and Of Mice And Men.

Meanwhile, their second album Iowa has been voted by Metal Hammer as the greatest album of the 21st century.

The new issue of Metal Hammer – counting down the 100 greatest albums of the 21st century – is available in print and via TeamRock+.

Slipknot tour dates 2016

Jul 29: Clarkston DTE Energy Music Theatre, MI
Jul 30: Burgettstown First Niagara Pavilion, PA
Aug 02: Charlotte PNC Music Pavilion, NC
Aug 04: Maryland Heights Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, MO
Aug 05: Des Moines Wells Fargo Arena, IA
Aug 07: Denver Pepsi Center, CO
Aug 09: Salt Lake City USANA Amphitheatre, UT
Aug 11: Auburn White River Amphitheatre, WA
Aug 13: Concord Concord Pavilion, CA
Aug 14: Inglewood The Forum, CA
Aug 17: Chula Vista Sleep Train Amphitheatre, CA
Aug 19: Albuquerque Isleta Amphitheater, NM
Aug 20: Phoenix Ak-Chin Pavilion, AZ
Aug 21: Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, NV
Aug 25: Dallas Gexa Energy Pavilion, TX
Aug 26: Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, TX
Aug 27: Austin 360 Amphitheater, TX
Sep 25: San Manuel Ozzfest Meets Knotfest, CA
Oct 15-16: Toluca Knotfest, Mexico
Nov 05: Tokyo Knotfest, Japan

VIDEO: Jim Root on the next Slipknot album and future projects

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.